A glittering ocean, rugged coastlines and wonderful photo opportunities are a given, but what else can travellers expect on a walking tour along Italy’s famous Amalfi Coast? Steph Millington, Peregrine’s Europe Product Manager, answered some of our most frequently asked questions about trekking this beautiful trail.
How much distance is covered each day?
Expect to walk between 3-7 kilometres each day (3-6 hours) on the trail itself, along with further walks to explore the local area.
How fit do I need to be?
You’ll need to have a reasonable level of fitness to enjoy this trip; along with covering a fair bit of ground each day, we can also be walking in hot conditions, which can be quite draining, even for the fittest people. There is the option to catch local buses if you don’t feel up for walking, however some of the places we visit can’t be accessed by vehicle.
What’s the terrain like?
Walking along the Amalfi Coast is similar to walking in the foothills of the Himalayas, minus the altitude and with a little extra heat. There are some ups and downs, steps and uneven ground, but you can definitely take things at your own pace.
Do I need to travel with any special equipment?
Comfortable, broken-in hiking shoes are absolutely imperative. A hat and sunscreen is also essential, as are light clothes – particularly airy long-sleeved shirts to protect you from the sun. A light, waterproof jacket will come in handy in the mornings and evenings when the weather is a bit cooler, and a refillable water bottle is a must. Walking poles aren’t essential, but are an option if you’ve got experience using them (although some people find they can be more of a hindrance than a help).
What will we see along the way?
So many incredible things! On the Footpath of the Gods, the view from Vallone di Grarelle is magnificent – you can see all the way along the Amalfi Coast to Capri. Villa Cimbrone is an incredible 19th-century mansion, with beautiful gardens and unparalleled views over the Gulf of Salerno. We’ll also see the crumbling remains of some of the Europe’s earliest paper mills – these old buildings have now been overtaken by thick foliage, and they’re a pretty astounding sight.
What’s the best time of year to visit the Amalfi?
The heat along the coast can be stifling, so we don’t run trips in the height of summer. My favourite time of the year is September, close to harvest time, because all the fruit on the vines make for fantastic photo opportunities.
What sort of food will we be eating (and are there snack stops en route)?
Expect to eat a LOT of delicious Italian fare. In Naples, you must try an authentic Neapolitan pizza. While we were there, we visited a tiny, hole-in-the-wall pizzeria run by generations of the same family. The pizza slice is served folded over in a paper bag, just as tradition has dictated – simple, fresh and delicious. And because you’re on the coast, the seafood is absolutely fantastic!
There are plenty of spots to pause, take in the view and have a quick snack along the path. The last time I did this trip, our leader brought out a big bag of juicy oranges for a mid-morning snack – it really hit the spot as we soaked up the incredible view. I absolutely love a good picnic and there’s no better place to enjoy one than looking out across the Amalfi Coast. Our ever-prepared leader, Marco, whipped a knife, hand wipes and even a chopping board out of his backpack for a feast of freshly baked bread, cheeses, olives & fruit. Delicious.
Why is a walking tour of the Amalfi coast such a special experience?
It’s not just the superb scenery and the healthy coastal air, or all the wonderful food and or lip-smacking wine you’ll try along the way – it’s our leaders too. They are really local. Marco on my trip, for instance, takes family holidays in Agerola, in the actual village where we stay on the trip. He and his family have been holidaying here since he was a boy. His connections with local people really make this a really special, authentic experience. In fact, I heard some feedback about one of his groups being invited into the garden of a family friend’s house for home-made lemonade!